MH370: “Presumption” becomes “high presumption,” but little else

August 5, 2015: French authorities said today there is a “high presumption” that the flaperon found last week on La Reunion Island east of the African coast is from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER.

The prime minister of Malaysia was more certain, saying the wing part was definitely from MH370.

When the flaperon was found and identified by photos as coming from a 777, the presumption then was that it was from MH370. Now it’s a “high presumption.”

Beyond this, there is nothing new.

There’s been no analysis yet of the barnacles, nor of the stress/tear damage of the flaperon. There’s been no detailed, scientific analysis yet of the currents to attempt to backtrack to the point of origin, although this New York Times animation is pretty illustrative, along with accompanying illustrations and text.

But the bottom line is that other than finally having a piece of the airplane, the world today doesn’t know anything more than it did 10 days ago.

It will be a while before authorities analyze the barnacles and flaperon. It will be a much longer time before we find the plane–if it ever is found–and longer still to recover any of the wreckage and all-important black boxes.

This is a mystery that will continue for a long time to come.

13 Comments on “MH370: “Presumption” becomes “high presumption,” but little else

  1. Don’t we now know more ? Didn’t we still have doubt about where the plane eventually crashed, even though there was very high probability that Australia was searching in the right place.

    Doesn’t this confirm that they are right about the ocean it came down in ?

    • Hi Bob

      IMHO- it means it is most likely that it came down in that 1/2 of the worlds oceans below the equator. For the wingnuts it will most likely start a new area of conspiracy theories. For the families, hopelfully mit will give some closure.
      What may eventually help is IF they can determine the mode of failure- detachment eg a dive or semi landing under remains of autopilot control and some idea of what the other kinds of debris might be expected.

      But until the CVR and ” black box ” FDR are found and evaluated, no one will ever be sure.

  2. I think the most important consequense of this discovery might be that it has put this whole thing back into the headlines and pressure affected governments to keep on searching.

    • Agreed. I’ve been following the MH370 saga over on Ben Sandilands’ blog since the beginning. It’s been feeling like the governments of Australia and Malaysia have been laying the groundwork for scaling back/discontinuing the search in the reasonably near future. This find changes all of that.

    • I read that AU is doubling the search area as they near completion of the initial search area.

      The doubled area is still a small part of a big ocean. (Centred of course on the estimate of path and fuel exhaustion. They haven’t extended the southern end more than what is proportional to width, there was some debate over that end at one point but I lost track of it. Still a small part of a big ocean.)

      AU and Malaysia are paying for the ongoing search, China not despite interest of its residents in an outcome, the US perhaps not either despite the presumed interest of Boeing in a resolution.

      They seem to forecast better progress than in the past, practice makes efficient I guess, but they are into winter weather when searching is slower. (Never mind what climate alarmists promote, winter weather is worse in that area and the north Atlantic and Pacific.)

  3. “But the bottom line is that other than finally having a piece of the airplane, the world today doesn’t know anything more than it did 10 days ago.”

    Perhaps not, but we certainly know a lot more that we did 500 days ago. I think we have done enormous progress by finding this piece. And I am sure the experts will derive additional hints and clues from their analysis. I am always amazed by what they can find when they examine a piece of wreckage. And it’s a good thing that the piece was found on French territory, for it allowed the BEA to have direct access to the part, which they can examine with other Boeing experts and scientists to extract whatever information it can yield. It may also help the relatives of the victims in some way because they now have physical evidences. It may be small comfort, but it’s better than to have absolutely nothing like they did before. It also gives them some hope that this case might be solved one day.

  4. New interesting elements from the BBC:

    In another development, the Malaysian transport minister said more suspected plane debris had been found on Reunion, including window panes and seat cushions. Liow Tiong Lai said the items had been sent to French authorities to be verified. However, French investigators quoted by AFP news agency said no new debris had been received.
    Mr Liow also said elements of the flaperon, including the paint colour, matched with maintenance records for the missing flight.

  5. I disagree on a number of points.

    First: Anything the Malaysian government puts out cannot be believed. They totally lied about the aircraft when they insisted the original search area was it when they knew in fact that it had flow up the Straights of Malacca and exited that to the N.W. (radar)

    2nd: while its an oddity, we are truly fortunate the French have jurisdiction of that part, there is an accompanying criminal investigation by other than the BEA and that’s going to pin Malaysian government to the wall eventually (they are tenacious) .
    Sub issue to that is why Imarasat did not release the ping data when they realized the Malaysian were both lying and not releasing that information. That held up sea search in the relevant area for 10 days as I recall. Search went on in all sorts of other areas at that point to the N.W. of Malaysia and the exit and even land.

    It also proves that the location calculated by Ping data is generally correct.

    The drift analysis said it would show up (if anything did) in about 18 months and that’s pretty good.

    What it does not do and never will is pin anything other than the general area which they have. It not half the ocean but it is a very large area.

    Unfortunately even with ping data with a minor set of assumptions on altitude and air speed the miss distance gets large and they may never find it.

    Realistic even if they do recover is going to be paid by who?

    And in all likely hood it will tell us nothing other than it was a pilot hi-jack.
    Maybe some gruesome details that do nothing for us.

  6. Keeje: I don’t get what you are aiming at.

    My take on the Malaysian government has always been and continues to be they lied, why I have no clue.

    I do not believe secret cargo, space aliens or terrorists of any kind

    You will note one of the ministers just spewed out a lot of nonsense about all sorts of debris being found, none of which have proven to be true. Maybe they are congenital?

    I also stated on day 2 (if memory serves, no latter than day 3) that it was pilot hi jack.

    Nothing to do with conspiracy theories, just how the aircraft was operated and the only explaining that makes sense of how it could have occurred.

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